On March 5, 1681, one day after receiving his royal charter for Pennsylvania, William Penn wrote that he believed God would make his colony "the seed of the nation." Penn wanted his Pennsylvania to be a land where people of differing languages and customs could live together, where men and women could worship as they pleased, where men could participate fully in their government. Such a land, Penn believed, would indeed be blessed.
Beginning with his petition to the king in May 1680 and ending with his departure to England in August 1684, this book contains the most important documents describing the founding of Pennsylvania. The letters, orders, petitions, charters, laws, pamphlets, maps, constitutional drafts, legislative journals, newspaper articles, memoranda, deeds, and other business records assembled here include Penn's own explanations of his desire to found a Quaker colony, his invitation to settlers, and his design for government.
About the Author
Jean R. Soderlund is Professor of History at Lehigh University, where she is also chair of the History Department and codirector of the Lawrence Henry Gipson Institute for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Her other books include Quakers and Slavery: A Divided Spirit and, with Gary B. Nash, Freedom By Degrees: Emancipation in Pennsylvania and Its Aftermath.
Table of Contents
Illustrations and Maps
A William Penn Chronology, 1680-1684
I. Negotiating the Charter for Pennsylvania, May 1680-March 1681
II. The Charter of Pennsylvania, 4 March 1681
III. Promoting the New Colony, March 1681-June 1681
IV. Selling Land to the First Purchasers, July 1681-December 1681
V. The Frame of Government of Pennsylvania
VI. Preparing to Leave for Pennsylvania, January 1682-September 1682
VII. First Months in America, October 1682-May 1683
VIII. The Pennsylvania General Assembly, 10 March 1683-4 April 1683
IX. Conflict with Lord Baltimore, June 1683-August 1683
X. Negotiating with the Indians, August 1683-December 1683
XI. Friction with the Colonists, January 1684-July 1684
XII. Return to England, August 1684
Suggestions for Further Reading